Letter: School board putting political ideals, pet projects ahead of sound judgment
To the editor,
– I have taken an interest in the last few Paso Robles School Board meetings, as I have two young children that attend the Dual Immersion Program at Georgia Brown Elementary. I can truly say I have been disheartened by what I have witnessed. As many are aware the district has faced some challenges in recent years, not the least of which has been financial woes stretching back to well before the Covid crisis.
One of these challenges finally landed on my doorstep when the board reaffirmed its decision to relocate the Georgia Brown students to the temporary campus where they clearly do not fit.
This dilemma has been a long time coming. One could argue that the measure M budget shortfalls should have been the highest priority the last couple of years but sadly other agendas stole focus from the board. When the board finally set themselves to making the difficult decision on what was to be done about the grossly overpromised Measure M funds juxtaposed with the district’s declining enrollment, they went completely off the rails.
The course of action chosen ignored the exploratory 7/11 committee’s and district staff’s recommendations. The “double move” option agreed upon flew in the face of many legitimate parental and staff concerns. Board Trustees offered no reasonable explanations for why they choose that option beyond it was what they felt was “fair”.
The $100,000 plus price tag of the “double move” echoed the questionable decisions made by the board just a few years earlier which led to its labeling as a “cautionary tale” by the SLO County Grand Jury. Indignation and hubris exhibited by several trustees after parents requested that the decision be revisited at the March 22nd meeting left many parents insulted and disillusioned. The parents of this community expect more from the district’s leadership.
My hope is the people of the City of Paso Robles sit up and pay attention as their hard-earned tax dollars are frittered away by trustees that willfully put political ideals and pet projects before fiscal solvency and sound judgement. As is always the case, these chickens will come home to roost.
Hopefully, the people of Paso Robles won’t be left with half-empty schools, half-completed construction projects, and budgets deep in the red.
It wasn’t all that long ago this district teetered on the brink of being taken over by the state due to financial insolvency created by this type of board behavior. The children of our fine city deserve a future brighter than the one they are poised to inherit.
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